A Good Hospital Birth- And A Funny Hubby

I am so pleased to share this birth story from one of our mamas.  She has been a wonderful presence on the Mama Birth Facebook page for some time and is always positive and kind.  And of course, who doesn't love a nice Monty Python skit while in labor?!

This was a hard pregnancy on me. I had morning sickness for the first 4 months along with insomnia. Those two don’t make for a happy pregnant mama. But they both passed and I was able to enjoy the next few months of pregnancy.  When I was about 24 weeks pregnant, I started having some mild stress/activity related contractions which was really hard on me because I had two kids and was babysitting two kids at the time. I had to drastically change things and take it very easy for the next 3 months. My other two boys were late so I was partly expecting to run ‘late’ with this one but at the same time, with all the contractions I was having, I was trying not to get my hopes up that he might come early.

I had been having contractions for the past couple weeks but nothing consistent or painful. Wednesday the 1st   of June, I got up and got the boys ready and decided to take them to the mall since they had been asking to go for quite some time. We walked around for about an hour and then went to the grocery store. After that we came home and stayed busy and moving around by made some cookies and banana bread.

I called to make an appointment to get pedicures for Husband and myself for Thursday since I told him I would go and get one with him before Baby got here. I made arrangements with my sister and she said she would take the boys for the night and then all day Thursday (since she wasn’t working), so Husband and I could get the pedicures and spend some time together-- just us.

Wednesday night, I took the boys over to my sisters and brought home some delicious Subway for Husband and myself. Yum! We went to Bible Study and as usual I was uncomfortable sitting in those pews, but it was ok. I knew this was coming to an end soon. After the Study, we went to get some ice cream with some friends-- and of course the usual “So when are you going to pop?’’ and also the “I think I would be pushing for an epidural! I couldn’t handle it…’’ phrases from the only single (and obviously uneducated) man at the table. My comment back was something along the lines of “well, that’s what makes women stronger” or something like that. Before we left, one of the ladies said “Hopefully you will be skinnier the next time I see you.” Good laugh at that one.

I woke up around 5:00 Thursday morning having contractions that were surprisingly consistent! I got up and took a shower just knowing that today was the day! I fixed my hair and did my make up… I was going to go in looking fabulous!! About 8am, I lost the mucus plug and knew that this was real.
For the past couple days I had the feeling I was “leaking” but didn’t even THINK that it could have been my waters. I went about my morning, finishing up some things I wanted to get done before we headed to the hospital. I needed to get laundry sorted for either my husband or sister to do while I was busy pushing a baby out, and I needed to clean my kitchen. Both tasks were completed and then we headed out.

When I got to the hospital, we waited for about 20 minutes and at 9:45 am, they called us back to get checked. They checked to see if my water had broken and how far dilated I was.  I was very disappointed that I was only 1 cm. I thought for SURE (due to how long they were consistent and the increase in pain) I would be at least a 3. It was very heartbreaking for this woman in labor. The RN came back in and said that my water was in fact broken so I got to stay at the hospital!

This was it…. I wasn’t leaving till I had my baby in my arms. Oh I couldn’t wait!! I was so incredibly nervous and incredibly in pain but I knew that in a few short hours I would be holding a baby. MY BABY! The baby I had been growing inside of me for 9 months, who decided to break the pattern set in place by his brother and arrive one day before the “guess date” instead of a week late!

I am thankful this is where I part with the RN. If she would have been my nurse during labor, she would have probably been punched in the face.  Maybe not that drastic, but my husband would have kicked her out and got me a new nurse. Right away, after she told me that my water was broken, she immediately told me I needed to get a pitocin drip to ‘speed things along’ since I was unsure how long my water had been broken and there was a chance I could get an infection which would stop me from dilating and then I would end up with a c-section. “and we know you don’t want that.” she said. (That’s where the punching part would have come in.)

I had never heard of an infection like that but I surely wasn’t going to just ‘ok’ the pitocin. I told her no, and she told me, quite rudely, with a frustrated tone, that my Dr would have to talk to me about it (but, when my Dr came in to check on me a couple hours later, did she mention anything about needing a pit drip? NO!! ) I texted a doula friend of mine and told her about it and she gave me the reassurance I needed to not freak out at the moment.

They sent me to a delivery room right away and there I met one of the fabulous nurses I would be spending the day with, Edie. We showed her my birth plan which she absolutely had NO issues with.  For the first hour or so, we did the necessary paperwork and got settled in. She was very courteous when it came to my birth wishes and I agreed that once an hour for 20 minutes, I would be put on the monitor so they could check the baby. 

After all the paperwork was done, we talked about the IV. I was GBS+ and therefore the antibiotics needed to be administered 2 times, 4 hours apart before baby came or hospital protocol was to immediately give baby antibiotics and  keep the baby 48 hours for observation. NO THANKS! I’ll just make sure I get the 2 full doses.  So about 10:30 I got my first dose. Thankfully, after the first dose I didn’t have to be hooked up to the machine for the next 4 hours (thank you heploc!)

During the first dose (which took an hour) I sat around and watched some TV, ate some of my “secret” food, and was left alone. My contractions were slowly getting more painful, but between that first dose and second dose, I was able to soothe myself by rubbing my back (I had horrendous back labor). The birthing ball was amazing! Sitting on that, while laying my head on the bed, with propped pillows everywhere allowed me to get a decent amount of rest while I could!
Husband had some things he had to take care of so he was out for a majority of the day, leaving me to labor in peace.

At 6:30, I called Edie into the room telling her my water had just fully broken. Yikes. THAT was a mess. It felt like it just kept gushing in waves forever!  Edie asked me if I wanted to be checked and if so, if I wanted the OB on call to check me or wait until my Dr came up to check me. I was anxious at that point to see how far dilated I was so I told her to just go ahead and have the OB on call check me. I was only 3cm dilated. 3! That was it. I said, “Really?!” with a disappointed tone and look.  I guess because I wasn’t laying on my back (like the previous two births) that was the reason that it kept gushing  in waves.

They noticed that it was a light shade of not clear fluid, meaning that there was meconium present. My Dr came in and talked to me for a minute about it. She told me that since there was meconium that the NICU team would be present at the birth to make sure that he hadn’t inhaled any into his lungs. This meant that they would cut the cord immediately and I wouldn’t get the delayed clamping I had wanted., but all in the best interest of my baby. Of course I wanted my baby to be ok, so I told them that was fine and went on laboring.
( It wasn’t till afterwards I learned that isn’t a “true” emergency/ reason to cut the cord. Oh well… live and learn.)

But after that, things sped up tremendously. I went from a 3 to a 10 in just an hour and a half.
My Dr came in shortly after that and she stayed in there and helped me through the contractions, which was a huge relief for me. She helped me find a comfortable position to labor in was the toughest part. I HAD to have pressure on my back during a contraction so lying down was NOT an option. I ended up sitting the bed up all the way, sitting on my knees leaning my belly against it and laying my head at the very top. This was where the focus got serious.  All day I had been praying through each contraction, which was an easy way to focus, asking God to just help me through each one. My breathing stayed smooth and slow and each contraction was a breeze.)

At this time, things were serious. NO ONE could talk to me, I had to tell myself-out loud- to focus- and then I prayed HARD that He would help me through each one, because now they were almost unbearable. I focused on each breath because if I didn’t, I would lose sight of everything and go into panic mode-- which happened a few times.

A little after 7 pm, Edie came over to introduce the new nurse who just came on shift to relieve Edie. Her name was Amelia. She was amazing-- So awesome and a perfect fit for me. While in the upright position, during contractions, she just stepped right in and started putting pressure on my back when I needed it. My poor husband, he tried, but just couldn’t do it right.
(And of course it was also about this time, that he brings the iPad over and plays this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NcHdF1eHhgc
WHAT was he thinking!? He said he was trying to “lighten the mood” Ha!! Yeah, the iPad almost made a 3 story drop to the pavement. )

I think I stayed like that for about 30 minute before that position wasn’t working anymore, so I scooted to the end of the bed and sat on my crossed legs, rocking back and forth. I think this was the point where I started to fade, and wasn’t very coherent. I'm not sure if it was just because I was worn out or if it was my body’s way of dealing with the pain, but I would say “Pressure!” and immediately someone (Amelia or Dr Spears) would be at my back putting pressure on it.  I don’t really remember the pain while I was in that position either.  I was there till about 7:45

And then it came. The first urge to push! And then again.  I lay back on the bed because my Dr told me that she had one patient fall off the bed and crack her head open and she didn’t want me to do the same.  This was the time when I NEEDED to stay focused but found myself losing  my focus and went into a slight panic state. As I lay there, in a panic, focusing wasn’t even in my thoughts anymore. I couldn’t control my body and from there I felt that I couldn’t control anything.

Dr Spears got her stuff ready and the NICU team came in, and before I knew it the urges kept coming. Dr Spears asked me if I wanted to try to push and at first I said yes, but then told her no… my body wasn’t ready. Almost, but not quite. After a few more minutes, it was time. There was no more holding back. My baby was almost here!!! After 7 or 8 minutes of my body doing all the work, we had a baby. 8:02 pm on June 2nd 2011, Logan Carl finally made it earthside.

Dr Spears asked Daddy if he wanted to cut the cord and he said no. Then she asked me but I just couldn’t.  I was too exhausted. The NICU team whisked him away but he was back in my arms 2 minutes later. In my arms, nursing happily. He was content. He nursed for the first hour and a half of his life. I was so happy to finally have him in my arms.
About 2 hours later, he was finally weighed-- 8lbs 2oz 21.5inches long. My biggest baby, my all natural baby.